Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Uzi and Ari

There are so many benefits to the whole myspace thing. It makes it easy to be a music fan. You can grab up to four songs from a band, often unreleased or older rarities, read about tour dates and talk directly to the band (in some cases), but it makes being a reviewer/blogger a bit ridiculous. Now, after hearing a single – that may or may not have been linked from 15 other blogs or a tidy press pack e-card - people rave and rave about a band and claim they are huge fans MONTHS before the album comes out. Then you never even hear about the band again on the site.

I love the fact independent bands are using the Web to get their name out, but I think it is breeding laziness for music reviewers. There are not many sites that ever review a full album. This isn’t 1950 and I’m not looking for a 45 for my collection. Most people are just talking about bands by linking a song and not even saying anything except this song is great. Or “yo, this shiz is hot (in common blogger vernacular).”

If all you are looking for is a song for a mix tape, or a song you can put on your share to show you are in the know then the whole myspace (and most MP3 blogs) thing is great. But if you are trying to decide if you want to spend your hard earned cash on albums to actually support your “favorite” artists, don’t you want to know if the whole album is any good?

Now, I’ll get off my soapbox and tell you the one thing I love about myspace. Bands you forget about update their site and you find out about a new album in the works. One of these bands for me is Uzi and Ari. I’ll easily admit I only checked out the first album - “Don´t Leave In Such A Hurry” - because I assumed the band was named after the two, red Adidas tracksuit clad kids from Wes Anderson’s Royal Tenenbaums flick. I’m sure more people actually wore red matching tracksuits around all day than bought this album, but it is a solid LP.

Textured, earthy melodies complimented by soft vocals and swirling guitars with enough noise and fuzz to keep shoegazers interested is the best way I can try to describe this band. I think this band is a good fit for Mogwai fans (the way the songs start out so simply and just keeping adding layer after layer), but you can definetly hear influences of some classic shoegazer outfits (like Ride).

The band is the brainchild of Ben Sheppard, and the new album is due out on Crying Girl records this summer (It is Freezing Out).

Check out two tracks (the latter being a demo version):
MP3:: Asleep in Armor
MP3:: mahershalalhashbaz (demo)

Posted at 12:35 PM by ack :: 2 comments

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At 8:45 AM, Blogger craig did sayeth:

I think the expresssion is people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Writing about songs is the format of mp3 blogs. The reason is probably that the best blogs write about several songs a day from several different bands. There's simply no way these could be all be album reviews.

I think the worse trap to find yourself in is to become a shill for the major labels by copy and pasting their press releases and adding no important information (see your Snow Patrol post). and btw Death To Smoochy is pretty great!


At 10:28 AM, Blogger ack did sayeth:

Hey Craig,

My point is not that MP3 blogs aren't fantastic for music fans (I actually read yours quite often), it's that when it comes down to helping a fan decide if the disc is worth 15 bucks, it helps to know something more than "this song is great".

As for becoming a shill for a major label, I also think that is a fine line. Does me liking Gary's work for many years and many album mean I shouldn't write up about his new work? It's not an easy call to make. We try to only talk about bands we like, but when we get a chance to do anj interview or go see a show we do. I mean, does being a Unicorns fan mean I shouldn't get into Islands because they are getting PR from Filter? Who knows. To each their own, but thanks for reading and taking time to comment.



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